Beyond Brewing: The Becker Family’s Favorite Pastimes

Gus and His Gun

None of the Beckers embodied the outdoor spirit as much as Gus. He was a marksman extraordinaire who won many local, state, and national awards for trapshooting. Gus was so skilled, in fact, that he was selected as an alternate for the 1920 U.S. Olympic trap team, though he never got the chance to compete in the summer games. Not only was Gus a great shot, he was also a daring stuntman. He would shoot traps from a moving vehicle above crowds gathered at local parades. He dressed as Buffalo Bill to shoot traps from horseback at the county fair as well, and he even shot them from his speedboat slicing through Pine View Reservoir at sixty miles per hour. Gus also enjoyed a long friendship with John M. Browning, the famous firearm designer and manufacturer. Browning made Gus a special set of chimes and a custom rifle that the marksman used to play the tune to “My Old Kentucky Home” to the amazement of onlookers. In addition to his skills as a stuntman, Gus was also a member of the prestigious Bear River Club. There he spent his fall hunting ducks with the “4-B” shooting team: (Gus) Becker, (A. P.) Bigelow, (John M.) Browning and (Matthew S.) Browning.